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Advice please

Discussion in 'Personal' started by 07019, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. 07019

    07019 New commenter

    Hi everyone
    First time posting here - just looking for some advice.
    I’m in my third year of teaching now and I am feeling very overwhelmed. I am looking at leaving the profession altogether. I have recently moved phase and although I am happier teaching wise I am finding paperwork and all of the stuff that comes with is unmanageable. I am working around 80-85 hours a week minimum that’s without the time I spend thinking and worrying about the week to come. I feel that I don’t have a work life balance at all and struggle to find time to see family. I am glued to the laptop. I recently took over the role of ICT co ordinator with no training or support and the previous coordinator left without handover. I have been looking and completed my first application for a different career tonight. Do I click the submit button? I can’t see any other way
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    If it's starting to get to you, you need to get out before you end up with health issues.

    You can always pull out of an interview/ decide not to take the post if offered at a later date, but yes I'd say you need to be actively applying elsewhere.
  3. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Yes. Submit the application. If you are unsuccessful you are no worse off.
  4. 07019

    07019 New commenter

    I feel like I can’t switch off at all. Family and friends have noticed how much work I bring home. SMT are supportive of my new role however when LEA or inspectors next visit then will they be as supportive?
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Why do you have to leave your current career because your new role is overwhelming?
    Can you not step back to "just" teaching?
    If you change career completely it is seemingly in the face of an extreme workload and an extreme role. So you could consider a less extreme roll.
    You state that the teaching is good, and that in itself is a precious thing.
    Is it worth preserving that aspect of your job and cutting out the extra doodads where you are not supported?
    How much of the eighty hours is down to the IT coordinator stuff?
  6. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    I may well have got end of the wrong end of the stick but from the use of the word phase, I would hazard a guess that the OP is in primary? In which case it might not be possible to drop the ICT coordinator role (or at least not without becoming the coordinator for history or maths or whatever in its place which may be no less onerous). With your mention of LEA and inspectors, is your school prepping heavily for the deep dives? Are your colleagues finding the workload equally heavy?

    As others have said there's no harm in applying (assuming there are no fees) - you can always see what happens. Equally, if you have been at the same school since qualifying you might want to look and see whether there is a different school out there that would be a better fit first.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Why hesitate? Apply.

    You know deep down you can't keep on like this.
  8. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    And if you don't get this one apply for another.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  9. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    You won't know if the alternative is better if you don't apply for it.

    If all else fails, return to teaching later when you've had a chance at trying for a better work-life balance.
  10. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! If you've not pressed the button yet press it now! You have nothing to lose. You don't have to take the job even if you get it but as you say, you can't see any other way out so why are you even hesitating?

    Some posters on this thread have suggested cutting back by perhaps ditching the IT coordinator stuff but would this make a big difference to your working hours? It may make a substantial difference or not much at all, only you can say. How do your family view the hours you spend working? How much of you is your partner and your children getting. What is your partner getting out of your relationship when you are spending at least 11 hours a day, every day, working. Will your children resent the loss of valuable family time sacrificed to your work when they are older. Do they resent it now?

    How long is your health, physical and mental going to hold up under this relentless stress, pressure and workload? If you continue to work as you describe you will become ill.

    Thinking ahead, unless you can make your job less demanding, can you carry on as you are? You have realised that your life needs to change for your benefit and your family's benefit. You have made the decision that you need to leave teaching and now you just need the final push to set the wheels in motion to set you on a different path in life that will bring you less pressure, less work, better health and more precious time with your partner and family. Look upon the pressing of that button as the start of a new phase of your life that will bring a, hopefully, positive change for both you and for those who love and care for you.
  11. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Having made a number of career changes over my life, I highly recommend it. Even if the job isn't giving you too much grief, a career change brings new challenges to keep us mentally stimulated.

    It also enables us to broaden our view of the world and get a perspective we would never otherwise encounter, if we remain in one career all our working life.

    FWIW, every time I changed jobs, whether it was in the same career or a different one, things worked out better for me in one way or another.
    Shedman, Jamvic and grumpydogwoman like this.
  12. celago22

    celago22 Occasional commenter

    Go for it!
  13. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Completely agree with @magic surf bus . You can go on gaining skills and experience all the time to equip you for all sorts of employment. The application alone is a good experience. And teaching will still be there - you are fully qualified after all.
    Lara mfl 05, grumpydogwoman and lmnop like this.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I moved around a lot. In my case it was age-group. Covered everything from 5 to 18.

    Once I got fed up with a place or a role? I always left. Life's too short to persist with a job that's unsatisfactory. There are loads of jobs out there. Just get another. And another. And another.
  15. celago22

    celago22 Occasional commenter

    Fantastic advice! Completely agree.
    I lasted 4 months in my previous school and now in a much better school that actually cares about staff wellbeing and nurturing its staff. You either need to find the right school or the right job but health, family and happiness must always come first.
    Shedman likes this.
  16. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    My NHS job was a dream job. One that any of you would have loved. It was so interesting and I think I could have easily seen it out until I retired, but idiotic management changes inspired by Thatcher made it impossible to get any satisfaction from it.

    I left the NHS to do exactly the same thing the NHS had employed me to do, as a self-employed person and became successful doing so in ways I'd never have dreamed of. It's interesting to note that when I left the NHS, by coincidence, it was when affordable computers became available, embraced the technology and advanced further than it would have been possible, had I remained an NHS employee at the time.

    I'd have probably survived one way or the other if I'd never seen a computer in my life. In fact, I have residents who haven't a clue what to do with them, but managed to survive all the same.

    It seemed to me at the time, that if I didn't have one of these new-fangled computersand learn how to get the best of it, I'd probably sink, but I also knew that it would likely take some five to ten years before the NHS would let me buy one.

    I chucked myself in at the deep end, had to work out for myself how to use it and never looked back. I can't tell you how useful that single decision was in turning my life around in both allowing me to take control of it and gaining the transferable skills that would formulate the rest of my career.

    The world has moved on a lot since then and everyone uses computers these days, but the point I'm making is that my employer was unable to provide me with the opportunity to progress as I did.

    It's quite possible I could have taken a career move into a world that relied on compuers and benefited just as much, but it wasn't going to happen without the career change in the same timescale.

    The more important thing to get across is that when I left the NHS I had no idea of what opportunities lay beyond it, because we can only work within the boundaries of what an employer allows.

    When I reflect back over my life, I sometimes wonder if it would have been simpler to knuckle down and accept the management nonsense to get the best pension I could, but I have to temper this against everything I've enjoyed since, most of all being able to gain the confidence to know I can put two fingers up to an employer if I've had enough.

    I never have needed to. It's a mindset thing that is difficult to describe, but when you realise your skills are transferable and have they know it too, just a look is enough to make an employer uneasy about giving you unnecessary grief. They pick up quckly enough on the confidence you have in knowing you can walk any time you like and change the way they deal with you.

    I appreciate it's very different from those who have been bullied out of their careers after years of experience when their faces no longer fitted, but when you have the confidence to flip them the finger, they don't try it on.

    You never actually need to flip the finger. They just know you will and if the try it on, you'll pick your moment.

    On a separate tack, I was working 90 hour weeks before I retired and was earning good money from it. The more hours I put in, the more I earned, but it all comes at a cost. I took the decision that money could never replace the simple enjoyment of having a life.

    It's beyond me how teachers have allowed themselves to be trapped into putting in the hours without at least getting the financial reward that I was getting for it.

    What's that all about?
    Shedman and grumpydogwoman like this.
  17. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    80 - 85 hours a week is unsustainable, in terms of health and maintaining personal relationships. You should be working to live not the other away around.
    Shedman likes this.

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